Turtles All the Way Down

by

John Green

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Davis Pickett, Sr. Character Analysis

Davis Pickett, Sr. is one of the most successful businessmen in Indianapolis, though he disappears mysteriously right before the start of the novel after the police try to arrest him for fraud and embezzlement. He owns Pickett Engineering, the engineering firm that was commissioned to design a tunnel system to keep the sewers from overflowing into the river when it rains, though his firm never completed the project. Despite his financial success, Mr. Pickett is cold and generally disliked: Daisy discovers that he's been accused several times of workplace misconduct and has been sued a number of times, and Davis tells Aza that his father has never been there for him. On the extreme end of his un-fatherly tendency, Mr. Pickett makes news by willing his entire estate to his pet tuatara, Tua, and not leaving his sons any of his money. Pickett Engineering offers a $100,000 reward for information leading to Mr. Pickett's discovery, which Aza and Daisy decide to try to win. Aza spends weeks puzzling over notes from Mr. Pickett's cell phone and fears that she inadvertently discovered his body in the Pogue's Run tunnel—one of the tunnels that Pickett Engineering constructed and never finished. Aza relays this information to Davis rather than go to the police herself.

Davis Pickett, Sr. Quotes in Turtles All the Way Down

The Turtles All the Way Down quotes below are all either spoken by Davis Pickett, Sr. or refer to Davis Pickett, Sr.. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dutton Books edition of Turtles All the Way Down published in 2017.
Chapter 12 Quotes

He's, just... I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person, and that they have no superpowers and can't actually protect you from getting hurt. Which is one thing. But Noah is starting to understand that maybe the person he thought was a superhero turns out sort of to be the villain.

Related Characters: Davis Pickett Jr. (speaker), Aza Holmes, Davis Pickett, Sr., Noah
Related Symbols: Iron Man
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

It's just, like, this isn't going to be some story where the poor, penniless girl gets rich and then realizes that truth matters more than money and establishes her heroism by going back to being the poor, penniless girl, okay?

Related Characters: Aza Holmes (speaker), Daisy, Davis Pickett, Sr.
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
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Davis Pickett, Sr. Character Timeline in Turtles All the Way Down

The timeline below shows where the character Davis Pickett, Sr. appears in Turtles All the Way Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Mychal explains that Davis’s dad, Mr. Pickett , disappeared mysteriously the night before a police raid was planned to bring him in... (full context)
Chapter 2
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...life as she and Daisy scan radio stations. Daisy stops on a news report about Davis Pickett Sr. , who disappeared mysteriously the night before the police were set to raid his home... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Daisy yells excitedly that Aza knew Mr. Pickett 's son. Aza explains to the reader that for two years after fifth and sixth... (full context)
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...the reward money, and Aza says she has homework and can't solve the mystery of Mr. Pickett tonight. Daisy quotes a pop song to convince Aza to join her in solving the... (full context)
Chapter 3
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...coming their way. Aza continues going through photos and finally comes to a photograph of Mr. Pickett in his nightshirt, with a 1:01am timestamp. Aza takes a screenshot of the picture as... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
The next photo (the one after the photo of Mr. Pickett) won't load. Aza is calm as she waits, but Daisy is obviously agitated and runs... (full context)
Chapter 4
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...estate is. Daisy begins to ask Lyle about his work as head of security for Mr. Pickett , but Lyle seems aware that Daisy is interrogating him and won't give her any... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Davis explains that he thought of Aza when his father first disappeared. The newscasters kept using Mr. Pickett's full name, which is also Davis’s name,... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...friends have been in touch over the last week but insists he doesn't know where his father is. Daisy suddenly appears and explains the "truth”: she heard about Mr. Pickett on the... (full context)
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...up. Aza can't decide if she's scared or excited. She tells Davis she's sorry about his dad , but Davis says that his dad is a "huge shitbag." Aza thinks that when... (full context)
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...and Davis apologizes for saying that it isn't a lot of money. He insists that his dad will get away with his escape. Daisy appears with a man whom Davis introduces as... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
...everyone watching him all the time. Daisy suggests that they all think Davis knows where Mr. Pickett is, but Davis insists he has no idea and doesn't care. He explains that the... (full context)
Chapter 5
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Daisy asks Aza if she knows who will inherit Mr. Pickett 's fortune when he dies. Aza makes a few guesses and Daisy says that Tua... (full context)
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Daisy wonders if Davis would turn in Mr. Pickett if he knew where his father was. Daisy and Aza wonder who might have helped... (full context)
Chapter 6
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...going to do her calculus homework and get a copy of the police report for Mr. Pickett 's disappearance. (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
The blog stops the day Mr. Pickett went missing. Hard as she tries, Aza can't find more of Davis’s online presence. Daisy... (full context)
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Aza discovers that even though Mr. Pickett settled his lawsuits out of court, the criminal investigation wouldn't go away. She learns that... (full context)
Chapter 7
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...Davis’s statement says that it was a normal evening. Noah's statement says that Davis and Mr. Pickett were arguing some, but it was an otherwise normal evening. Hundreds of photos of the... (full context)
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...information is relevant, and the reward money might never be distributed if they never find Mr. Pickett . Daisy sees receiving the money as a sure thing, but Aza gets a text... (full context)
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Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...information she has will make the situation better or worse, and Davis says that if Mr. Pickett gets caught even though he never reached out to his sons, Noah will be crushed... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
Davis leads Aza into a basement room lined with Mr. Pickett 's collection of first edition books. He tells her she can't touch any of them... (full context)
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...would squeeze Davis’s hand sometimes. When she did, Davis felt loved. He says that once his dad came and tried to tell him that his mom wasn't actually "there" and squeezing of... (full context)
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...out cereal boxes. He shakes bundles of bills out of the boxes and explains that his dad hid money everywhere. He offers Aza a stack of bills and explains that for his... (full context)
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...wearing superhero pajamas even though he's thirteen. He asks Aza if she's found anything about his father . Noah asks if he can send Aza the notes from his dad's phone. The... (full context)
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
In a small voice, Noah says that Davis thinks they're better off without their dad , but that he still wants him to come home. Noah leans into Aza and... (full context)
Chapter 10
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...she spoke to Noah the night before and that he gave her the notes off Mr. Pickett 's phone. Aza says she feels bad for Noah, but Daisy insists that he isn't... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...an emancipated minor and the legal guardian to Noah. When Aza asks what happens if Mr. Pickett is dead, Mr. Morris explains that legal death and biological death are different: if no... (full context)
Chapter 12
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
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...cried, and Davis thinks that Noah is realizing that a caregiver isn't a superhero and his dad might even be a villain. Aza asks Davis about "the jogger's mouth," but Davis explains... (full context)
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Davis says that his dad doesn't owe him anything, but he wishes he'd do the "dad stuff" like take Noah... (full context)
Chapter 14
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
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...explains that tuatara have been around a thousand times longer than humans. Malik explains that Mr. Pickett loves that Tua is forty years old and still in the first quarter of her... (full context)
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When Aza comes out of the bathroom, Noah tells Aza that nobody wants to find his dad . Noah wonders why his dad isn't trying to contact them, or if he is... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...school, Aza mostly watches Daisy watch Attack of the Clones and scrolls through articles about Mr. Pickett 's disappearance. Daisy says something about her fanfiction stories and asks Aza what she's doing.... (full context)
Chapter 21
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Language and Meaning Theme Icon
...tells the reader that after she descended into "proper madness," she solved the mystery of Davis Pickett Sr. 's disappearance, using her obsessiveness and becoming a great detective in the process. She walks... (full context)
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Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...Daisy sit outside eating leftover pizza. Daisy says she's been thinking a lot about how Mr. Pickett left his kids without saying goodbye, and feels bad for him. Aza thinks that she... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...Pogue's Run tunnel: they're in the jogger's mouth. Aza stands up and feels as though Mr. Pickett is behind them. (full context)
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...gallery. Aza says that she'll tell Davis, but otherwise they do nothing. Daisy wonders if Mr. Pickett is in the tunnel and comments again on the smell. (full context)
Chapter 23
Identity, Selfhood, and Mental Illness Theme Icon
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
...that the jogger's mouth is the mouth of Pogue's Run tunnel. She says she thinks Mr. Pickett might be down there and that there was a bad smell. Davis looks scared and... (full context)
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Language and Meaning Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...do now. Aza says that he needs to keep going and has seven years until his father is legally dead. When Davis says he has nobody, Aza reminds him that he has... (full context)
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...and nobody got hurt. Aza points out that she lacerated her liver, Harold died, and Mr. Pickett is also probably dead. She says that happy endings either aren't actually happy or aren't... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...on the screen and unmutes the TV. A reporter says that authorities believe they've found Mr. Pickett 's body in the Pogue's Run tunnel, and that he likely died of exposure within... (full context)
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Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
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...to let the estate go to a tuatara, and Aza suggests that they couldn't leave their father in the sewer. She wonders if she was wrong to tell Davis about the jogger's... (full context)
Chaos vs. Order and Control Theme Icon
Privilege, Power, and Wealth Theme Icon
...that not knowing was eating up Noah. Davis realized that Noah needed to know where his dad was more than he needed money. Aza notices that Davis is crying a bit, and... (full context)